csk: ‘I was 117 kg,’ CSK spinner Maheesh Theekshana shares his fitness struggle

Even though Chennai Super Kings have had a disappointing outing of this IPL 2022 with the playoffs hopes hanging by a thread, spinner Maheesh Theekshana of Sri Lanka has certainly made heads turn and has been a revelation for CSK this season.

The youngster was picked for ₹ 70 lakh during the IPL 2022 auction and has proven to be a solid buy with his performance. Theekshana has the ability to keep the scoring rate down and has helped CSK take crucial wickets in the middle overs.

However, the road to representing CSK was not easy. Theekshana had to work hard to reach this level of success. The 21-year-old shared how he overcame his fitness struggles to make a name for himself and fulfill his cricketing dream.

I was 117 kg at that time (U-19 days), so I had to work harder to get my weight and skin folds down in the YOYO test. In 2020, I got everything down and brought my fitness to the (required) level. I started to do more hard work on my body, ”Theekshana said in a video shared on CSK’s Twitter handle.

The realization of the need to reduce weight dawned after Theekshana was overlooked for the U-19 World Cup. He often had to warm the benches during his U-19 days due to his weight issues. Theekshana was heartbroken, but it was his never-say-die attitude that kept him going.

“In 2017-18, I was in the U-19 squad, but I did not get a chance to play because I failed fitness tests a few times. In 2019, I had to be a waterboy for 10 games in three-day matches. So I knew that if I failed, I would have to carry the water bottles again. But I kept believing in myself and had that never-say-die attitude. That’s why I am here in 2022, ”said Theekshana.

To reduce his weight, Theekshana followed a strict diet. He cut rice off his diet for months and bid adieu to friend fish and snacks. He used all his time to engage in running and working out in the gym. The results were there for all to see. By 2020, Theekshana had dropped 22kgs and halved his skin-folds. He also improved his YOYO test maximum from 16.1 to 19.2; and dropped the two-kilometer sprint time from 10.1 minutes to 8.28 minutes.

In the video, he added that playing for Chennai Super Kings was a dream come true.

“In 2020, I had a chat with Ajantha Mendis, and in 2022, I spoke to MS Dhoni. I was with CSK last year as a net bowler. Never thought they would bid for me or pick me up this year, ”he said.

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